Whakatipu Programme: A focus on work readiness for rangatahi - Outward Bound

Whakatipu Programme: A focus on work readiness for rangatahi

Outward Bound Whakatipu Students learn the soft skills needed to thrive in the world of work.


For many rangatahi (young people) in Aotearoa, the transition from school to the workforce poses a significant challenge. The monumental transition ahead of students leaving school often feels overwhelming with this period often feeling “make or break.” For many, this is the first time they are faced with having to make complex decisions with no right answers.


As New Zealand's primary source of new workers, school leavers hold the key to the country's economic growth, however, all too often they are not realising their potential due to the barriers they face.


Taking the Next Steps


With over 60,000 students leaving school in Aotearoa each year, the transition from secondary education marks a pivotal life moment. Up until this point, learners have followed relatively uniform paths, but upon leaving school, the possibilities expand with variety and endless opportunities.


The pressure to “choose the right path” can feel immense. Furthermore, nearly half of all learners face the barrier of lacking confidence, which can manifest as overwhelming doubts about their own abilities.


Unlike previous decisions with "right" answers, transitioning into the workforce requires complex decision-making skills. Without these skills, learners may experience unnecessary costs, lower lifetime earnings, and a distressing decision-making process, ultimately leading to pathways misaligned with their vision of success.



Soft Skills – the key to success


According to a survey by Deloitte, today’s employers say transferable skills such as teamwork, leadership, management, decision-making, problem-solving, and verbal communication are amongst the most important and the hardest to find skills for employers.


These crucial soft skills are skills that students will carry with them for the rest of their lives, no matter the industry they work in but unfortunately, high schools often struggle to create space within their traditional curriculum to teach these skills to students, leaving them ill-equipped to enter the workforce.



Whakatipu - An Outward Bound Programme to Bridge the Gap

We created the Whakatipu (Growth) Programme to cultivate vital skills for students and bridge the gap between what the education system provides and the current expectations of employers.


The 8-day course immerses students in challenging outdoor experiences, where they work with 13 other students to overcome obstacles and solve problems as a team. It offers a perfect mix of adventure, teamwork, challenge, and reflection. During the course, students gain tools to identify strengths, set goals, and understand what truly matters to them.


The Whakatipu Programme goes beyond personal development; it hones in specifically on work readiness for our rangatahi, helping students identify and apply soft skills in real-life situations.


By bridging the gap between school curriculum and the skills employers seek, Outward Bound helps students acquire lifelong transferrable skills, such as problem-solving, decision-making, teamwork, and communication.


Through the Whakatipu Programme, Outward Bound empowers rangatahi to step up and realise their potential as positive and contributing members of their communities, making a lasting impact on their lives and the generations to come.


Keen to get involved?


Our Whakatipu Programme is not currently available for open enrolment, however, if you’d like to learn more, check out our Whakatipu Programme Brochure. Please reach out to our Community Development Partner, Krishan Kumar (kkumar@outwardbound.co.nz) with any questions regarding the programme.